Helping Accident Victims – Understanding California’s Good Samaritan
When a car accident or some other type of emergency occurs, it is not uncommon for those nearby to try to help. These people come to the aid of the victims without the intention of obtaining any benefit or remuneration in return, and whether they have some medical training or not. Thanks to them, we have seen dramatic rescues that many times have helped save the lives of victims due to their timely reaction.
These people act like Good Samaritans to their fellow citizens. Therefore, it is important to protect them as well if, even with the best of intentions, something goes wrong while providing help to the injured or the people in trouble.
All states in the country have laws that protect them, known as Good Samaritan Laws, and are intended to prevent them from being held responsible if their actions ultimately cause more harm than good.
When there is an emergency, time can be of the essence, and it can be the difference between life and death. But, unfortunately, many people would be afraid to help if they knew that they could be sued by doing so.
In the state of California, the Health and Safety Code governs the Good Samaritan law. It establishes that if a person provides emergency care, acting in good faith, they should not be held responsible for their acts or omissions.
The only exception would be if the person carries out actions in a highly negligent or deliberate manner that could harm and/or worsen the situation of the person in need. If this is proven, the person could be held liable for the victim’s injury and/or death.
To be protected by the Good Samaritan Law, a person must meet the following conditions:
- Provide medical or non-medical care or assistance.
- Do it in good faith and without expecting any financial remuneration in return.
- Provide aid at the scene of the accident.
These laws encourage people to help during an emergency and to do so in a responsible manner. The time it takes for emergency services to reach the accident scene may be longer than desired, and a person nearby can make a big difference.